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THE DISPERSION OF GREEK EDUCATION     59

compared in this respect with the Greek sophists, with whom
their name connects them. If, as is not improbable, Proverbs was
an Alexandrian compilation, they may even have been the religious
leaders of the Jews in Alexandria.

3. The most direct evidence we get regarding the methods of
teaching employed is of an etymological kind. Throughout the
Proverbs there arc two words in the rendering of which the trans-
lators of our versions find evident difficulty. The one is the word
for " law/' which also means " teaching/' " Forsake not the law
(or teaching) of thy mother." The other is the word that stands
for " instruction," or " punishment.*' " My son, despise not the
chastening of the Lord " may be equally well translated " Despise
not the instruction of the Lord "—an ominous ambiguity. The
first of these facts suggests that teaching took the form of giving
rules or laws to be committed to memory; and the practice of
other Oriental peoples and of the Jews at a later time supports
this view. Learning always meant the repetition of precepts,
given by the teacher to be memorized by the pupil. With regard
to the intimate connection between instruction and punishment,
we do not need to depend on the indirect evidence of words. The
writers of Proverbs leave us in no doubt about their faith in the
rod as a means of educational grace. " He that spareth his rod .
hatcth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him dili-
gently."* " Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but
the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."f References to
punishment abound in the book, indicating a barbarous system of
education that depended for its effect on constant beatings. The
need for incessant punishment is common to all educational sys-
tems iii which prohibitions figure largely: it was inevitable that
the negative and repressive laws which formed the greater part
of what the young Jews had to learn should be driven into the
memory and the character by flogging.

The educational tradition of Proverbs is continued in the
apocryphal book of Eccksiasticus, written about x8o B.C., after the
Hellcnr/ing tendency in Jewish education had somewhat abated.
The point of view is substantially identical with that of Proverbs,
but some differences are evident. The teachers of wisdom are a
body of men sharply marked off from the common people, who
make a business of learning and so fit themselves not merely for
* xiii, $4.            t aocii, 15,